Ineos Secures Second U.S. Shale Gas Supply Contract
Ineos has secured a second shale gas supply contract, with Consor Energy of the U.S., to feed its European crackers in Norway, the U.K., France and Germany from 2015.
The ethane will be transported through the Mariner East pipeline from gas fields in the U.S. Appalachian basin before being shipped by sea and landed at the group's new 1 million t/y terminal at Zwijndrecht in The Netherlands. Ineos is the only company so far to establish seaborne intercontinental ethane transportation.
In September 2012, the Swiss-based petrochemicals giant announced that it had signed a contract with Sunoco Logistics for capacity in the pipeline, with Range Resources for purchase of ethane, with Evergas for construction of customized vessels and with TGE Engineering for construction of a new tank at Rafnes.
Ineos is also pursuing plans to build a second ethane terminal at Grangemouth in Scotland. There it would benefit from loans and grants guaranteed by the U.K. government and the Scottish regional government as an outcome of a recent labor dispute at the site. A blueprint of the £300 million terminal, which would be similar to the Dutch facility, has been presented to UK authorities. Start-up has been pencilled in for 2016,
David Thompson, procurement & supply chain director, said Ineos' latest supply contract provides a long-term source of "advantageously priced" U.S. ethane, allowing it to continue to consolidate the competitiveness of ethylene production in Europe.
Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe recently hinted that the group could also play a role in the shale gas exploration rush drive by the U.K.